Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Churchill (West Hollywood)

The former space that was Minestraio has finally come alive again, giving the Orlando Hotel guests a place to dine in a completely revamped setting and the West Hollywood crowd another late night hangout. Some have been calling The Churchill, from the people that also brought us The Hudson, a "gastropub", but the kitchen headed by Executive Chef Spencer Johnston does not serve typical "gastropub" food and beverage director John Rankin has also created a cocktail-heavy program.

The Pike ($12) is made with sweet bell pepper muddled with basil, galangal syrup and lime juice, Cazadores Reposado tequila, mescal rinse.
The Revolver ($12) is an instant favorite, made with fire roasted pepper infused Herra Dura Blanco tequila, hibiscus reduction, agave nectar, lime, cassis, xocolatl mole shaken and served on the rocks with a jalapeno slice.

Not stopping there, we also tried the pumpkin infused rum which had quite a strong pumpkin aroma. The wine list also contains some interesting selections like Torrontes, a white wine from the high altitude regions of Argentina.

The charcuterie features La Quercia prosciutto and house-cured meats including a rabbit and pork pate, housemade blood sausage, and Housemade crostini.

Misty point kumamoto oysters
Chef Johnston regularly acquires produce from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and is a big fan of Windrose Farms. I, on the other hand, was a big fan of his Grilled Local Octopus salad, market beans, frisee, chorizo, sherry dressing ($15)
Octopus Salad

The Chopped Salad with Pancetta would make a good, healthy lunch any day.
Chopped Salad

For a more casual dinner, The Churchill's wood fired pizzas are a good default orders. Try the wild mushroom and prosciutto or the marinated artichokes pizza with pistachios, burrata, olives.
Artichoke Pizza
For those looking for a more elaborate main course, The Churchill has plenty to offer as well.

My favorite was the Potato gnocchi with braised rabbit, blistered tomatoes, sheep's milk ricotta ($19)
The gnocchi was unusually small and also had a chewier consistency. The tomato sauce gave it a lighter but wholly satisfying flavor.

The whole roasted rock fish is accompanied with the bold flavors of olives, corno di toro peppers and eggplant puree ($29)

Roasted Jidori farms chicken, herb roasted heirloom potatoes, lemon chili broccolini, jus ($19)
Roast Chicken
While I don't usually order chicken, fearing that it would be dry, the roasted chicken here was very juicy and tender.

The desserts are rustic and hearty.
Apple Tart
Apple Tart

While for me the cocktails are not quite at the level of the best cocktail bars in LA, they are certainly some of the best cocktails in this part of town. Similarly, the food can stand its own against its neighboring establishments. With a solid program in both food and drinks, The Churchill will probably soon be a local favorite.

The Churchill
8384 W. 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-8384
The Churchill on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted


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